Shine, Perishing Republic

Shine, Perishing Republic

Murray Rothbard recently described American conservatism as "chaos and old night." Apart from the nasty implication that we are all dunces, there is something to what he says. It is getting harder every year to figure out just what it is that makes a conservative. Consider Newt Gingrich-the Carl Sagan of politics. He wants to colonize the stars, mine the galaxies for precious minerals, and open up the entire universe to free trade and economic opportunity. In between star treks, Gingrich plans to alter the government of South Africa and become President of the United States (but he won't take office till the year 2001). The most astonishing part of the Georgia congressman's program is the label: conservative opportunity society. Opportunity, we understand, but conservative? If ever there was a politician who exemplified the liberal temper of the American mind, it is Newt Gingrich. He is undoubtedly a force for good in the Congress and is unquestionably one of the most ingenious thinkers in Washington, but if he is a conservative, then what does that make Senator Helms?



Does the word conservative have any substantial meaning in the l980's? The John Birch Society is typically described as conservative, but so is Milton Friedman and so was Jimmy Carter, in the beginning-the one, a libertarian...

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